Rules and Decisions Video Archives(2)



Mhairi McKay's approach shot during the third round of the 2003 U.S. Women's Open is dead on, but not exactly what she had hoped. McKay's ball sails into the bunker, colliding with Hilary Lunke's ball. Under Rule 18-5, if a ball "in play" and "at rest" is moved by another ball "in motion after a stroke," then the moved ball must be replaced as near as possible to its original location. Failure to do so would have resulted in a two-stroke penalty for Lunke.




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On the par-3 12th hole of the final round at the 2003 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Davis Love's tee shot hops over the green, but he gets a lucky break when the ball finds a photographer's leg.




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Tom Lehman, playing in the final round of the 1996 U.S. Open, is one shot from the lead with only one hole to go. After chipping onto the 17th green, he goes to mark his ball and causes it to move slightly. Lehman thinks he might have committed a Rules violation, and immediately seeks a USGA Rules Official. Even with the championship at stake, he is prepared to incur a penalty. However, the official correctly explains the Rule, pointing out that there was no infraction.




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Bob Murphy 's ball had company in this bunker during the first round of the 2003 U.S. Senior Open. Hubert Green's ball struck and moved Murphy's ball before coming to rest on the spot where Murphy's ball had originally been located.




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Payne Stewart's chip shot during the 1991 PGA Championship is deflected by a leaf on the putting green before finding its way into the hole. Natural objects - and that includes leaves - are loose impediments. However, this leaf also has the status of an "outside agency." Rule 19-1 says that when Stewart 's ball was deflected by this outside agency, it was a "rub of the green." No penalty is incurred in this situation and the ball must be played as it lies. Because the ball came to rest in the bottom of the hole, it was "holed."




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With the 2003 U.S Women's Open championship on the line, Annika Sorenstam's disastrous approach shot on the final hole disappears into the trees and winds up beneath a fence and behind the large scoreboard. Under Rule 24, she clearly is entitled to relief from physical interference by this immovable obstruction, but that's where the situation takes a twist.



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At the 1949 British Open, Harry Bradshaw was faced with an unusual lie - his ball came to rest within a glass bottle. Rule 24-1 offered assistance: If a ball lies in or on a "movable obstruction" such as this bottle, the ball may be lifted, without penalty. the obstruction removed. and the ball dropped. But Bradshaw was unaware of the Rule and played the ball from within the glass bottle. A more thorough knowledge of the Rules of Golf could have saved Bradshaw a stroke or two, and spared the groundskeepers some extra cleanup work.



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While in a playoff at the 1988 Canon Sammy Davis Jr. Greater Hartford Open, Dave Barr's ball comes to rest in a tricky lie. The ball is within the margin of a lateral water hazard, nestled in the grass beside the wooden pilings - an immovable obstruction. Because his ball is considered to be within the water hazard, Barr is not entitled to relief, under the obstruction Rule.



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On the second hole of the 1999 British Open final round, David Frost's lie is in this thick rough off the fairway. Frost summons a Rules official hoping that he would be entitled to relief. He believes that in order to take a proper stance, he would have to stand with one foot on the cart path, an immovable obstruction.



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Aree Song's approach shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2003 U.S. Women's Open came to rest just in front of this drain, which is a permanent obstruction. The drain clearly was going to interfere with Song's ability to take her stance, and Rule 24-2 offers free relief from interference by an immovable obstruction.



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During the 1996 U.S. Amateur, while battling for the title with Tiger Woods, Steve Scott hits a tee shot that comes to rest on this drain in the fairway. The rutted drain had been declared an "abnormal ground condition," and under Rule 25-1, Scott therefore is entitled to relief without penalty.



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During the 2002 Ryder Cup, Tiger Woods' ball comes to rest on the fringe of a wrong putting green. Rule 25-3 says interference from a wrong putting green occurs only when the ball rests actually on that green. Under this Rule, the player must take relief, without penalty. Failure to do so incurs a loss of hole penalty in match play.



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At the 2002 WGC-EMC World Cup, Thomas Levet 's approach shot lands on the green but then rolls into the lateral water hazard. Under Rule 26-1, Levet incurs a one-stroke penalty and is permitted to drop a ball outside the hazard within two club-lengths of where the ball originally crossed the margin.



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During the first round of the 2003 U.S. Women's Open, Laura Davies' tee shot lands in an environmentally-sensitive area between the tee and the fairway. According to a Local Rule of Golf, play is prohibited from any area declared by an appropriate authority to be environmentally sensitive.



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Ernie Els' tee shot during the final round of the 1994 U.S. Open finds this dry lateral water hazard off the fairway. Even though it was dry at the time, the red marking clearly indicates that this area was a lateral water hazard. Els is faced with two options: play the ball as it lies, or proceed under the water hazard Rule, which allows the player to drop a ball outside the hazard while incurring a one-stroke penalty.



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Gil Morgan's approach shot at the 1992 U.S. Open fell victim to the day's gusty winds, straying right of the fairway and over the cliff and into a bay. Morgan consults with a Rules official and a fellow competitor, Ian Woosnam, to determine where the ball last crossed the "margin of the hazard" during its flight.



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During the second round of the 2003 U.S. Senior Open, Bruce Lietzke's approach shot on the fifth hole finds this lateral water hazard to the right. USGA Rules officials on the scene confer to determine the exact point where the ball last crossed the water hazard.



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During the 2002 Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, Shigeki Maruyama's approach shot finds this water hazard to the side of the green. He was penalized one stroke under Rule 26-1 and then seeks the assistance of a Rules official to determine the correct procedure for taking a drop.



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During the third round of the 1987 U.S. Open, Tommy Nakajima's approach shot on the final hole lands in a tree, short of the green. A volunteer helps him search for the ball, but to no avail. Rule 27 allows five minutes for a ball to be found or identified after which it is "lost," with a one-stroke penalty.



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